Happy Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Turkey day y’all. Gobble, gobble. lol I actually like Thanksgiving as far as holidays go. I like that it’s about food and family and getting together. In my family, at dinner, we go around the table and tell about the one thing we are the most grateful for that occurred in the last year. Not all the things that make us give thanks or a few of them. Just one. It makes us focus and keeps the momentum going so everyone gets a chance before the dinner is over. It’s awesome.

So many of our holidays have turned into three ring circuses. I like hanging out with friends and family, watching football and generally just being with the people who love us and we love back. Then if you’re lucky, you made plans to go gorilla shopping the next morning, complete with infiltration plans and an exit strategy, with those very same people. Cause for Black Friday shopping, you NEED a posse. People who will have your back and not leave a man behind. But they also have to have sharp eyes to look for bargains as well as coordinate color combinations. So really, you want a variety of family members to go with you to cover your back. Yes, it has gotten that grime out there. Little blue haired old ladies will cut a bitch to get to the blouse on sale. Seriously.

I also vary my menu a little every year. Yes, I do turkey and ham. And most of the sides are perennial favorites. But this year instead of a chocolate pecan pie, we are having a dark chocolate mousse. I’ve decided to forgo candied yams in favor of the simpler baked sweet potatoes. And so on. Here’s my Thanksgiving menu:

brined, dry rubbed turkey
mashed potatoes with roasted garlic and herbs
sweet potatoes
green bean casserole
broccoli and cauliflower in a cheddar cheese sauce
stuffing with chestnuts, gruyere and bacon bits
turkey gravy
pumpkin pie
chocolate mousse
cranberry sauce

This menu is for 4 people. I add more sides and maybe an appetizer sampler if I have guests arriving. But for the small, nuclear family thing? The above menu has been honed from years of tweaking to find the perfect balance for my family. Yours may vary.

Now the best part of Thanksgiving isn’t the main menu, although that is pretty great. Nope, the best part is the left-overs. I like messing around with different recipes to use the turkey as much as possible. I even use the turkey carcass as a soup base. But that’ll come later. And if you serve turkey for Christmas, then some of the leftover recipes will stand you in good stead.

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